All reptile lovers, raise your hands!! I’m not – a reptile lover. They intrigue me and fascinate me but I can’t say that I love them like I do mammals. And yet – they are a formidably resilient species. They’ve survived for millions of years and probably will for millions more unless we screw up their chances utterly and completely as we so often seem to do! I suppose too that they have their own kind of beauty – a raw, primal, savage kind of beauty that is hypnotic and unforgettable. If you have ever seen a Komodo Dragon feeding frenzy on Nat Geo – you will know exactly what I mean!!
This Rat snake seemed harmless though, and isn’t he gorgeous?! He was in a deep pit with several of his relatives in Van Vihar, a small Zoo of sorts in Bhopal. I took this on our visit there last month, as Ishaan dashed around from one pit to another in fearful excitement! The snakes were trying to climb up the pit walls and he would scream for us to run when he caught sight of one slithering silently upward, testing the air with a flick of its tongue 😀 It was rather fun watching him and watching the snakes 😉 There was a humungous python in one pit – all coiled up and fast asleep for all I know 😛 It certainly showed no signs of Life while we stared!
We even saw a couple of women praying to this guy…Snakes are revered in India, since Lord Shiva uses them as accessories, you know in lieu of diamonds and such 😉 They’re fed milk and worshiped in a special festival all their own – Nag (snake) Panchami. It’s not a festival I like coz several snakes are caught and de-fanged and exhibited by snake-charmers to the faithful multitudes, who feed them milk & pray for whatever it is they pray for! I on the contrary am inevitably reminded of Nagini, Voldemort‘s pet Basilisk (if you can call it that!) – a silent assassin, awaiting her Master’s summons and command to devour! Oooooooh…scary 😉 If you haven’t heard of Harry Potter (which rock are you living under?!), ignore that last line 😉
And so here is my tribute to the ‘Silent Assassin’, slithering through the night, senses attuned, fearsome hunter!